Touch Of Gray, Feel Like A Stranger, Franklin's Tower, Minglewood Blues, Row Jimmy, Memphis Blues, Big Railroad Blues, Around & Around Sugar Magnolia-> Scarlet Begonias-> Estimated Prophet-> Eyes Of The World-> Drums-> Jam-> The Wheel-> Gimme Some Lovin'-> All Along The Watchtower-> Black Peter-> Sunshine Daydream, E: Box Of Rain
Pre-FM > MR > VHS > DAT > CD > EAC > SHN (seekable) Via Darryl Hinko
January 28, 2008 Subject:
Worcester phillies sure looking good
Overall: generally, a very good recording, but it does have radio fuzz on occasion. The fact that it seems to only happen at the beginning of songs supports my old theory that they would purposely do that for FM broadcasts to ensure no one would try to convert the broadcast into a money maker (all four of the FM broadcast tapes I had back in the day had this same phenomenon of "fuzz" at the beginnings of songs). Jerry's vocals aren't perfect (he's battling a cold) but the playing is really solid and it's a typically enthusiastic Worcester crowd, which lends some good energy to the show. Bobby's guitar is way up in the mix for this show, which I actually like. I think I remember this show being better than it was. This is the first time I've heard it since the show - it rocked my socks off at the time, but now I think it's just "above average." But when compared to '87 shows, I think you can see a rise in energy.
The scene: "Tour cough" was everywhere for these shows. It was rainy and cold and everyone was getting sick. This was the second leg of Peter C. and my spring break tour for our senior year of high school (we saw 2nd and 3rd night at Hartford and 1st and 2nd night of Worcester). The Hartford shows were fun, but I tend to think of this night as maybe the best of the four we saw. The "scene" at Worcester was pretty lame. The bad weather, lack of space for one big parking lot, and cops-on-the-prowl made for more of a hide until the show kind of vibe. I was in the hallway for this show, and compared to Hartford, the Worcester hallways were a dream. They had carpeted sections and were clearly much newer, cleaner, and nicer. I think this was the night I met a guy who I would see for a long time and we'd often hang out at shows together, but I eventually lost touch with him. He had really bushy brown hair, was from NYC, and was wearing a blanket-poncho (he wore that almost all the time, I think). I don't even remember his name at this point, unfortunately. One of those many people you'd share shows with, and then never see again. As Bobby sings "did they really exist at all?"
The music: Set I: Jerry's voice is still hurting as he struggles with the same cold that everyone on tour was coming down with. Touch signals that he'll keep trudging on despite the ill health (though he's not entirely convincing!). The jam in Stranger is nice, with some good input from Bobby, Brent, and Phil. Everyone seems to be listening to each other really well. Bobby's guitar is really loud in the mix. Franklins is nice, but not amazing. Memphis has Bobby digging deep on the vocals. Big RR and Around & Around provide a rocking end to the set and give you some hope that the second set might take off.
Set II: Bobby brings some real enthusiasm to Sugar Mag, and it seems to infect the rest of the boys as well. Just like Stranger during the first set, Scarlet reveals that the boys are really listening to each other on this night. Good transition from Scarlet to Estimated, which can sometimes be clumsy given the rhythm difference (4/4 to 7/8). Bobby's vocal improv section in Estimated is good (not great). The transition from Estimated to Eyes seems a little abrupt, like the jam was going well and somebody just wanted to move along to Eyes. The jam for Eyes is likewise good, but short. Wheel>GSL>Watchtower is strong with Watchtower in particular kickin into high gear. The lyrics to Black Peter are a good reflection of Jerry feeling like crap. The fact that there is literally no jam whatsoever after he sings "go run and see" tells me that he can't wait to get off the stage. Box is nice encore, of course - and it spares Jer from having to sing another song.
June 30, 2007 Subject:
sounds great to me!!
was this the show ,where during the wheel,,, way up in the rafters,,we all circled the centrum????,,yeah i was there,, it was soooo cool,,peace love and happiness,,i'll give it a 4
April 18, 2006 Subject:
This 3 night run was really great. Jerry's voice was on the rebound, and his playing is rock solid. I also really enjoy the 4-9-88 night, as well as the Rosemonts to end out the East Coast/Midwest portion of the tour.
January 6, 2006 Subject:
My first show
This was my first Dead show and I was completely blown away. I was hooked from the minute they started playing and I danced the night away. This is the best version of "Memphis Blues" I've heard to date at a show or on tape. The Dead were peaking in the late 80's and I highly recommend this show.
December 7, 2005 Subject:
Moods galore affect this show
1st Set: After a disappointing three night stand in CT, they'll try to rejuvenate with their 'blockbuster hit single' "Touch." Well, at least that's out of the way...Brent's synth is out of action early in an otherwise stringy-cool "Stranger." Yes, Jerry's rough voice are not exactly creating beautiful harmonies. Eager basslines extenuate an otherwise standard "Franklin's." The good times continue chugging with a fine "Minglewood." A perfect time for a lazily drifting "Row." Immediately the drummers create a brisk two-step for a stirring "Stuck Memphis." Carefree times return with an increasingly tight "Big Railroad." A nice surprise "Around" appears to close a high-energy first set. Funny, cause Bobby's still confused over if there's an outro chorus. (There's not-just 5 minutes)
2nd Set: A very good hard-charging "Sugar" opens up the set with the expected "Scarlet" segue following. Jerry's croaking out the words, but nothing's blocking all the good vibes. The jam briskly moves along til they pause to venture in differing arrhythmic territory. Mangy aggression defines Jerry's work in an assertive "Estimated." A moody not altogether tonally amalmagated "Eyes" follows. By the way, there are small sections of the previous two numbers that are painful to listen to cause of heavy static. "Drums" and "Space" hint at notions of solitude. "The Wheel" tries hard to add communal tones however it's not until "Gimme" that I feel united with my fellow peeps. Thanks for being 'glad that I made it.' Desperately I rock out to this noisy clanging "Watchtower." Jerry can't belt out "Black Peter" as it deserves but his tone is grimly foreboding. The obvious "Sunshine" swiftly concludes matters.
Though only decently performed, "Box" was the suitable choice for this emotionally fragile performance.
3 1/4 star
July 7, 2005 Subject:
Very high energy show, though Jerry's voice is a beat creaky here and there. But there are some neat highlights ... a pretty uncommon Big RR Blues ... Round&Round to close the 1st set ... an interesting Scarlet>Estimated transition.
Worcester parking lot was a nasty place to be that night ... lots of cops busting people, cold and rainy. But paradise awaited inside
April 6, 2005 Subject:
the ole boy's voice is better and the set list is money. Always loved a sugar mags second set opener. Nights 1 and 3 from Wooooooster are a must.
April 4, 2005 Subject:
This whole show sparkles - yet another Centrum stunner. 3 for sound interruptions, 5 for '88 5 for solid show, very well played with alot of energy!
February 3, 2005 Subject:
I was in the 5th row for this show. By far one of the best I had the privelage of seeing. Havent checked the recording for quality......But the energy of this show was second to none....Jerry was on,Bobby was on,Phil was on.......It was all there irregardless of the sound quality. 5 stars in my book....
September 14, 2004 Subject:
I, too give this show a four out of five.
Unbelievable show, was there and remember it rockin' but in hindsight, this is the first time I've heard it since the show.
The playin' on all songs is top notch, not just for 88 standards but for any year's standard.
That being said, there's definitely sound problems with the recording. It seems to have a radio signal or something cuttin in every now and then. Hence the four instead of five. Still worth a listen or three.
and yes, thank you mr. Aizen.
July 15, 2004 Subject:
Best of Spring 88
This is the best I have heard from spring '88. This was the tour that got me hooked. This show is amazing. Tight high energy from start to finish. Def. download. Only 4 of 5 cause sound is not just exactly perfect, but that said, it is still SWEET.
July 9, 2004 Subject:
Hot show......really tight 1st set. Minglewood smokes. The second set is full of energetic playing...lots of up beat tunes. Sugar Mags>Scarlet>estimated>eyes !!!! Nothing more needs to be said. Maximum Respect goes out to Jonathan Aizen !! Thanks for all of the wonderful shows....Amazing quality. YOU DA MAN.